Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Marvelo Crivella has issued a statement censoring and banning the 2010 Marvel Comics story Avengers: The Children’s Crusade from the city’s Bienial Do Livro book festival, citing a kiss between gay characters Wiccan and Hulkling depicted in the story as threatening to minors.
Bienial Do Livro runs August 30 through September 8.
Crivella ordered Rio de Janeiro police to seize and confiscate all copies of the 264-page volume from the Bienial Do Livro festival organizers. However, according to Brazil’s O Globo newspaper, festival organizers refused to comply, instead voicing their support for the LGBTQ+ community in Brazil and at the festival.
O Globo also reports that further attempts to confiscate copies of Avengers: The Children’s Crusade from booksellers at the festival were stymied simply by eight of the nine comic book vendors they visited simply not having the book in stock, while the ninth stocked the book, but was sold out.
The specific volume targeted by Crivella is a 2012 Brazilian reprint of the full 12-issue saga, published as Marvel Official Graphic Novel #66 through Marvel’s international publishing partner Panini. It was initially published in Brazil in 2012, in its original serialized 12-issue format.
A statement from Bienial organizers (translation via Google) says the festival “gives a voice to all audiences, without distinction, as a democracy should be. Including, next weekend, the Bienial Do Livro will have three panels to discuss Trans and LGBTQA + literature.”
“The direction of the festival understands that if a visitor purchases a work he or she does not like, he / she has every right to request the exchange of the product, as provided for in the Consumer Protection Code,” the statement continues.
A subsequent statement from the Rio de Janeiro Mayor’s office states that all remaining copies of the volume must be bagged and labeled for containing content it has deemed unacceptable for minors, citing the Brazilian ECA code, which provides guidelines for depicting and selling material that may be dangerous or influential to children.